Buc-ee’s: The chubby-cheeked avatar of clean public restrooms! The bucktoothed endorser of Dan Patrick! The friendly beaver that promises well-lit, comfortable roadside satisfaction! These are just a few of the things that the image of Buc-ee himself, the mascot of the 27-store chain founded in 1982 by Texas A&M grad Arch Aplin, conjures in the minds of those who gaze upon his visage.
It’s also something that the chain is keen to protect, which is why they’ve filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the new beaver in town, a tubing supply store on the Frio River called the Frio Beaver. Both stores use beaver mascots—though Buc-ee is chubbier cheeked and more wholesome looking, in his red ballcap, than the devil-may-care Frio Beaver, who wears shades and carries a tube—and, perhaps more tellingly, both of them place that mascot within a bright yellow circle, which probably won’t help the Frio company’s case.
As the Houston Chronicle reports:
Dallas’s bike helmet law, which required everyone riding a bike in the city to wear a helmet, has long been controversial: In 2010, a cyclist sued the city in federal court, claiming that the ordinance was unconstitutional, and the Texas Transportation Code requires lights and reflectors, but not helmets, and it doesn’t allow for cities to create further restrictions. Still, the helmet law was in place for years, and the occasional federal challenge was not enough to dissuade city lawmakers from keeping it in place.
Last week, however, Dallas City Council decided that it was time to relax the ordinance. As the Dallas Morning News reports:
It may not have occurred to you that when you give your dog a chew treat, you may well be giving the pooch a product that may well be made out of bull penis. You may also be unaware that bull penis, as a meat product, has a name that—seemingly mercifully—is not “bull penis,” but which is “pizzle,” perhaps the only word gross enough for the thing that it describes.
But all of this is presumably less gross than the fact that a North Austin supermarket allegedly put pizzle—which is meant to be labeled as inedible beef not fit for human consumption—on the shelves for unsuspecting customers. As KXAN reports, MT Supermarket deliberately altered the labels:
The battle over possession of one of the two Farrah Fawcett portraits by Andy Warhol has been one of the weirder legal reality shows of the past few years. Both Ryan O’Neal (Fawcett’s former lover) and the University of Texas made a claim the painting in question. Fawcett, upon her death in 2009, left her art collection to her alma mater, a collection that included the two portraits by Warhol, painted during his friendship with Fawcett and O’Neal in the late seventies, with an estimated value in the neighborhood of $12 million each. However, O’Neal claimed that the reason there were two portraits was that Warhol had painted one for each of them, and the second of them belonged to him, even though it had been in Fawcett’s possession since she stormed out of his house with it in the late nineties after discovering O’Neal in bed with another woman.
Folowing several high-profile and controversial open carry demonstrations here in Texas at chains like Chipotle and Jack In The Box, the National Rifle Association declared that they consider it “downright weird” to “draw attention to oneself or one’s cause” by walking into a fast food chain holding an AR-15 or an AK-47.
In an article posted to the “News and Issues” section of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action’s website, the organization spares few words in decrying the open carry organizations. After opening the post opining about the potential dangers of “smart guns,” they turn their eye to Texas:
HERO—the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance—passed last night. It’s been a bit of circuitous journey for the ordinance designed to protect the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Houstonians—with Mike Huckabee showing up to weigh in, serious questions about the parts of the bill that allow transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify, and votes to delay the vote occurring to let the attention die down. But shortly after 7:30 last night, Houston Mayor Annise Parker signed it into law after an 11-6 vote from City Council.
The meaning of the ordinance for the people of Houston is complicated, and there’s been a bit of confusion about what the law actually says. Here are the basics:
The murder trial of Brelyn Sorrells—a 21-year-old Austin man and former Bowie High School football star who was involved in a stabbing at a San Marcos Super Bowl party in 2013—had been underway for four days before the evidence that would go on to clear him in the eyes of the jury was seen by his attorney. A whole fifteen months after the prosecution received it.
The video, which was recorded the night that Sorrells stabbed Arthur Martinez with a three-and-a-half-inch knife, was captured by the DJ at the party, who had been filming in the hopes of using the party footage in a music video. The footage clearly demonstrates that Sorrells was surrounded by armed men who began attacking him when he pulled out the knife (which he used as a boxcutter in his job at UPS). According to the Austin American-Statesman:
All states that carry out executions do so primarily via lethal injection. In Texas, as in most other states, it’s the only legal method by which to execute prisoners. But as lethal injection drugs get more difficult to obtain, the question of whether to switch to other execution methods is going to be a conversation we have, both in Texas and elsewhere. And that conversation might have been jumpstarted by a state representative from Utah, who proposed a bill last week that would bring back an old-school execution method that doesn’t require European-manufactured drugs: The firing squad.
Twenty-year-old Sir Young pled guilty to the 2011 rape of a 14-year-old girl, but a lot of what happened in his case was strange: especially his sentence. In April, State District Judge Jeanine Howard opted to put Young on probation, ordering him to perform 250 hours of community service at a rape crisis center and to spend 45 days in jail, but exempted him from some of the probation conditions that sex offenders typically face.
I’ve argued in this space in the past that I’d prefer to see both jail as a sentence and sex offender registration utilized cautiously, but it also seems as though caution should be used when ordering a convicted rapist to spend 250 hours in a facility intended to make rape survivors feel safe. But it became clear after Howard spoke to the media that her idea of who the real victim was in the incident between Young and the young teenager he was convicted of raping wasn’t necessarily the girl. As the Dallas Morning News reports: